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Riot: Mobile Armor
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Riot: Mobile Armor
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Developer:
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Platform:
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Release Date:
Action
Monolith
Monolith
DirectX 5.0
P133/16MB
July '98

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Riot: Mobile Armor Preview

It's great to see all the varieties of 3D action games, ranging from shoot'em ups, to interactive and involved stories. Monolith brings a whole new depth to the gaming industry in that their new product, Riot: Mobile Armor is somewhat based on the Japanese anime. With Monolith's innovative ideas, they have managed to buy the rights of the recent LithTech Engine, which is a highly publicized graphics engine, that enables a drop in renderer. Basically, this allows any renderer to be dropped in for use in the game by way of a DLL file.

The Future and Past Collide....
With the creation of more efficient means of communication, different aspects of culture have been able to spread quickly across the world. One art, which has spread worldwide, is that of Japanese animes. Some features of animes which have been incorporated into Monolith's new game include the technology of previous animes (such as mecha), which enable characters in the story to have more maneuverability and look more realistic. Monolith's Riot: Mobile Armor also includes graphics done in the traditional Japanese way. It was sketched first, then drawn again in a computer, and then rendered in 3D. The idea of bringing past ideas or media and incorporating them into new games brings many exciting prospects into the world of 3D gaming.

Riot: The Story
The tale begins when two brothers, orphaned at an early age, were befriended by Kura and Kathryn, who were daughters of Commodore Nathaniel Akkaraju. Baku, a scrawny kid who was always being beaten up, also became their friend. You play as Sanjuro, who was the younger of the two brothers, and who was the more social one. He was smart, but had a slight temper. Toshiro felt the loss of his parents more than Sanjuro did, and was the shy one of the two. Kura and Sanjuro became lovers, after their many years of teasing one another. Akkaraju's wife died in an attack in which he knew she was in danger. He was forbidden to act to protect her, however, since his orders were to stay put. Kura was outraged that her father would not help his wife when she was in danger. Kathryn, however, knew he was under orders, and took up a non-combatant position in the military force. Shortly after the attack, Akkaraju was promoted to Admiral and shipped off to Cronus. Later on, a maniac threatens to destroy the military force, and Sanjuro is sent by Akkaraju to assassinate the leader.

From Hell to Heaven
It is often said that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. This is true for even the developers of Riot: Mobile Armor. They started with the idea of making one of the best 3D games the gaming world will ever know. Once they started to get into the details, however, they found that the current graphics engine they were using just wouldn't cut it, so they switched to the LithTech engine. Of course, they had to rewrite the graphics routines that they had previously written, which resulted in a lot of work. Jason Hall, the CEO of Monolith, has said that thanks to the efforts of the programmers and the LithTech engine, they now have a "true 3D world" full of "organic creatures" made for Blood2 and Riot: Mobile Armor. Monolith's programmers have even gone as far as to plan to release the source code to Riot: Mobile Armor with the game itself, so that players can customize their weapons and worlds.

The game will move you between a 1st person shooter (ala Quake) to a outdoor mech simulation (ala MechWarrior). To do this, the LithTech Engine is being placed with huge demands. Yet, Hall says it will pull it off, and the levels for individual areas, will be gigantic. For more information on these aspects, check out the Daily Dementia interview with Jason Hall.

Faster, Sharper, Better Graphics with...
LithTech was originally called DirectEngine but changed its name when it was decided that it was to be used with Riot and Blood2 by Monolith. LithTech offers many programmable features, including the ability to stay up with current 3D technology. It offers many features that are found in today's games. One special note is that it will offer a drop in renderer, which, as explained before, allows easy adding of 3D API support, including Direct3D and Glide. With the ability to support practically any 3D API, Riot: Mobile Armor will offer a wide range of supported APIs.

MeccaWorld Says...
Monolith's latest productions use the cutting edge of technology to their advantage, and will offer high quality graphics and life-like movement. The new LithTech engine will ensure the success of Riot and Blood2 by providing high quality and complex graphics. A tiny bit of culture will be included in Riot: Mobile Armor, but it will only be on theoretical principles. Ideas from the past certainly have made an impression on present times, as Japanese animes will on the gaming industry.

-- Jason Chan for MeccaWorld

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